Saturday, May 21, 2005

"The Dearly Beloved"

You've come full cirlce, now you're home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you've always been
You had to lose so you could win
And rise above your troubles while you can.”

- Elton John, “The Measure of a Man”

Life is full of choices. Without going existentialist on you, I want everyone to remember that every moment of your life is a choice. Do you want soup or salad? Do you want the red pill or the blue pill? Do you want to keep reading this or not? Do you want to die now or die later?

I’m not saying that we have complete free will and that our final destination isn’t predetermined. It may be. But I’m not saying otherwise. What I’m saying is that we’re presented with opportunities day in and day out and there are consequences or rewards to each choice.

And that’s what “The Dearly Beloved” was about: choices. It was about how we can choose to fix our problems, how we can magnify them, and how some situations have choices with no rewards. It was about dealing with the worst hand that life can deal you.

And also, it was about family and its power.

Most importantly, it worked. It worked on all cylinders. In the hands of Josh Schwartz, we got, for the first time on the show, writing that hit on an emotional level, that elicited true feelings, and that made these characters feel as if they were friends and family. And then it shocked the hell out of us (and for all the right reasons—there was no “I can’t believe they did that” groan but there was a “They did that” shout).

The episode took everything that we’ve seen since the beginning of the series, not just this season, and put into this episode. Whether it’s Ryan’s final stance against the brother who has caused him so many problems or the actualization that there is no such thing as the moral center of any society because all families have problems, this episode began the rebuilding of shattered lives. True, it began a heap of other problems, but one chapter closed and in season three, another will open.

Ryan and Marissa. . .

They’ve been through a lot, huh? Whether it was Luke or Julie or Oliver or now Trey, they’ve had to endure a lot side-by-side. Despite the fact that I don’t particularly care for them as a couple, I have to admire the persistence of this relationship and how it seems to survive anything. And I think this episode illustrated just how strong these two are together.

Ryan had a choice. He could give his brother the benefit of the doubt and let him get out of town while maintaining at least, in theory, a respectable rapport. Or he could react just like Ryan Atwood used to do and just like he should have and step up and defend the honor of someone who loves him. Despite their ups and downs, Marissa is family in a broad sense. Whereas his father is in prison, his brother almost got him in jail several times, and his mother abandoned him, Marissa remains a constant. So when Seth told Ryan what happened, Ryan had to define what family was. Is family simply blood and a name? Or is family a group of people who stick by you no matter what? The look in Ryan’s eyes, possibly the most telling face and single best acting moment of the entire show, said it all.

The fight between Ryan and Trey was the culmination of two seasons of frustrations. What Ryan got from Trey’s mistakes is a new life, a life of luxury and a life with a real family. But what he lost was a family member by blood. He lost someone he probably looked up to. And that may have sent his mother over the edge and may be one reason she left. So as much as he gained, he lost an equal amount. And even if Ryan is happy now, there still has to be built up frustration and it all came to a head in that moment. How the fight played out, how Trey got the upper-hand despite Ryan completely destroying him, is a little difficult to figure out but it was an intense moment, as intense as anything ever done in the show. And I have to wonder, why did Trey want to kill Ryan? I’m not even sure that’s a sign of him being a bad guy. I just think it’s a sign of him being scared and not knowing how to react. I’ll never justify actions like Trey’s, but there was a certain fear that surrounded his character and almost made his actions seem normal.

As for the big shot at the end, that’s going to be interesting. Certainly Marissa acted in the moment. She could have shot him in the arm or hit him in the head with the gun. She could have done a lot of different things, but instead she chose to shoot him. It wasn’t technically in self-defense, though it was to protect a loved one. She’ll get off, there’s no doubt about that, but Sandy’s got his work cut out for him here. I think the most interesting thing about the story will be to see what it does to Ryan and Marissa. The writers have two options: they can break them up and have Ryan get pissed at Marissa for killing his brother or they can have these two work together to pick up the pieces. I know which one I want. And I know which one would be a better story. Let’s hope the writers pick the same one.

Sandy and Kirsten…

There’s an episode of Family Guy that cuts to a flashback of Peter’s family and friends staging an intervention for him. They want him to stop wearing a green, foam hat. And when you think about it, staging an intervention almost seems stupid. After all, what person wouldn’t stop something that would hurt their family? Why wouldn’t a person stop something that’s so damaging to himself?

But that’s just it. Sometimes, things are out of our control. Whether you want to consider alcoholism a disease or not is irrelevant because you can’t deny the effect it has on people. It hurts families. It affects everyone around the alcoholic. Everyone pays. And there’s just nothing the alcoholics can do on their own. That’s where family comes in. That’s where loved ones step in and take charge no matter how bad it hurts the accused. It has to be done and Seth, Sandy, Ryan, and Hailey did exactly what they should. It hurts everyone involved but if it doesn’t happen, it’s going to hurt even worse.

Even though the ending of the episode was the most shocking, this story was where the writing, the cast, and episode shone. It managed to take something simple—no psychos, no guns—and make it the most emotionally intense storyline the show has ever done. The characters were honest. They showed that they love each other. Every family has their issues Sandy rightfully claims, but the best families overcome those issues.

And not only did the intervention scene really tug at the heart strings, the scenes with Sandy and Seth did as well. Those two are so far into their roles by now that they appear to be a true father and son pair and their talk was honest, a little awkward, and painfully true. Sandy’s willingness to admit that he should have told Seth, Seth’s willingness to admit that he has been so self-involved that he’s lost sight of his family, and their mutual understanding that Kirsten needed help, no matter what, was simply a thing of beauty. Sandy kissing Seth on the head added to the realism of the scene and to the simple, but powerful nature.

Kirsten probably won’t be perfect right away. Even when she comes out, the family will have to walk on eggshells around her. She’s going to have to deal with her company, she’s still going to have to clean up her father’s mess, and she’s going to have to keep her family above water. The marriage will probably be stronger, though, and that’s important.

Kirsten could have chosen to ignore Seth’s final plea, but she didn’t. She chose her family, not herself, and that was the ultimate decision in this episode and a beautiful way to wrap up the story.

Seth and Summer…

There’s not much to say about these two. They showed a devotion to each other. Summer didn’t force her condolences about Caleb onto Seth. She quietly sat with him, offered up Princess Sparkle, and just gave him someone to be with.

The most pleasant thing last night was Summer’s interaction with Marissa. While everyone talks about Seth being self-involved, Summer has been just as bad, wrapping herself up in Seth and Zach’s war and forcing them to choose to benefit her. But just like Ryan, Summer knows that Marissa is family and she recognized a problem. And she did what she had to do. She knew what the outcome would be once it got to Ryan, but she had to protect her friend. And I’m glad she did.

Seth’s decision to tell Ryan was very similar. No doubt he knew that it would cause problems and that Ryan would get himself in trouble, but he understood that Ryan had to know because Ryan’s family and Ryan needed to fight for another member of his family.

The most surprising thing to me about Seth was this realization that Caleb and Seth were close. I don’t recall many scenes with them together and I really don’t recall any scenes where they got along. But it worked in the story and so I’ll take it. It was tough to see Seth sad. For the first time in the show, he seemed to truly open up and act vulnerable.. We’ve seen him act sad and heartbroken in his own goofy way but this episode showed him act unsure of what he wanted or how to fix anything. He knew his mom needed help, he knew he had to get over Caleb’s death, and he knew Ryan needed to know about Trey. This was far different than being sad over Summer but knowing that he ultimately had to get her back. This was about not knowing what’s going on in and with his world. It’s about the complexities of life and how things aren’t cut and dry. It’s about choices.

Jimmy and Julie…

May I just take a moment and express my enthusiasm for the return of Jimmy Cooper sans curly mullet. It was great to see him back. I’m not lying when I say that I think the fact that the show’s poor run coinciding with Jimmy’s departure was not a coincidence. He’s just a delight to see on screen because you know he’s good. Hearing “kiddo” made the episode an automatic thumbs up for me.

But how is this going to work? He and Julie want to get back together and have for a while. Can Jimmy just drop his past with Hailey, a past that seems a little unresolved? Can Jimmy trust that Julie will not turn back into the person she was? At the moment she’s clearly hurting and she’s vulnerable, so the idea of starting over sounds good, but what happens when this smoke clears? Whether these two want the marriage to work for each other or to give their daughters a good life is foggy at the moment though I’m sure it will clear up.

What I hope is that Jimmy stays and that he’s the same Jimmy. After racking my brain for every twist possible, the only negative one I could come up with would be that Jimmy wants to take Julie’s money in a bit of irony. That would be the nail in the coffin for the show and I beg Josh, if he’s reading this (and he does read things online so it’s not too far from the realm of possibility), to not do that. I would guarantee a significant decrease in viewers. Jimmy’s a fan favorite, without question. People moan and groan about the possible returns of Theresa and Oliver but no one has a cross word to say about Jimmy Cooper. He’s awesome. Keep Jimmy as the loveable good guy. Keep him flawed, but keep him good. Please.

The hug between Marissa and Julie was another excellent moment in the show. Whether Julie can express her love for Marissa or not, she does love her and she does want to protect her. She just wants to do it on her terms. The fact is that she’s still young and she’s still a bit pretentious and she doesn’t understand that she can’t get her way. Caleb’s death hopefully opened up a different side to Julie, a side that allows her to give a little more than she takes. Their relationship will obviously be strained here, though this isn’t a Tijuana incident where Marissa just did something stupid, so it’ll be interesting to see how their relationship plays out when Julie finds out what happened. I’d like to believe she’ll rally to Marissa’s side, but you never know.

Still, the most important thing is that Jimmy seems to be back. Maybe next year I’ll get that hour on a boat that I clamored for this year. You never know.

Other Thoughts…

I’m usually the first one to jump down the writers’ throats when they don’t bring the funny, but they didn’t this week (with the exception of a few lines) and it worked incredibly well. This was a very dark episode and the comedy would have been incredibly unnecessary.

So Marissa’s shot and she’s in a wheelchair at the funeral? I loved watching the message board squirm this week as people tried to figure things out and others claimed to know exactly what was happening.

Oliver’s back! Wait, no he’s not. Didn’t we learn anything after last year’s finale spoilers included the Cohen’s house burning down and Caleb having a heart attack? Josh played us all for suckers and Seth’s line about Oliver was truly wonderful.

Josh Schwartz really should write every episode. I’m not lying. I’ll continue to say it until it happens. It might send him to an early grave due to stress but the show’s only got four or five years left in at most anyway. He can outlive that. (Okay, okay, I kid, I kid…)

Glad to see Tate Donovan cut his hair. That scary curly thing he had going on at the beginning of the season didn’t work for him.

It was a smart move to not show much of the funeral. The episode wasn’t about the funeral, it was about everything around it, much like the wedding last season. I did like that we got excerpts of Sandy’s speech and I’m glad he was honest about not getting along with Caleb.

Nice North Shore reference. I’d like to see Hailey stick around for a while. She’s not developed yet and there seem to be a lot of facets to her character. I’m not particularly interested in seeing she and Julie fight again, but I am interested to see her life explored some. I’m sure she won’t be around for too long, though. And I’d like to take this time to express my anger over the fact that North Shore was cancelled. It was just starting to come around. Woe is television, though, right?

I have to wonder why Lindsay wasn’t there. From a writer’s point-of-view, I understand that they mangled that story and they probably don’t want people to remember it, but still, it was her father, a father she apparently wanted to know.

The music in the final scene was interesting. Wasn’t sure what to think of it at first, though the second time around, I liked it. Not as fitting as “Hallelujah” was last year but what could be?

I like that they addressed Ryan’s change this season. He recognizes that he’s changed and he did it purposefully. It was solid justification for his actions and it was intriguing all at once.

Did anyone notice Zach wasn’t in this episode? I sure didn’t until after it was over.

So who gets the company now? Who runs it while Kirsten is in rehab? And really, who’s been running it? Julie can’t handle all that work and Kirsten’s been busy with the magazine. And speaking of that, who gets to handle the magazine now? No Carter to pick up the pieces.

Where will next season pick up? Will time have passed? Or will we get summer episodes that pick up right after the big shot and we’ll see how that goes before a baseball hiatus? I vote for that one. Apparently Kelly Rowan said that the show will come back before baseball. Who knows, though? FOX can be difficult.

Final Thoughts on “The Dearly Beloved”

I don’t think anyone can question my love for this episode. Whereas last year the show claimed that it would end with an “emotional cliffhanger” (and it did, don’t get me wrong), it never quite hit the same level of emotion that this episode did. The characters overtook the writing and it made for something meaningful.

At the same time, they managed to throw a real cliffhanger in and it was a good one, simple as that. It was slightly reminiscent of Tijuana with a bit of wonderful O.C. melodrama that had Trey looking over his shoulder with that wide-eyed look on his face. The show hasn’t done that in a while and it was due now.

What an amazing way to end this season. That’s all I can say about it, really.

Speaking of this season, let’s take a look back, shall we?

Welcome to the Fallout…

They had a lot to live up to. The first season of this show was nothing short of spectacular. The show constantly surprised us, kept us laughing, and kept us engrossed in the lives of these Newport families. It wasn’t anything particularly original--90210 had done every teen storyline possible and Dawson’s Creek had mastered self-referential humor—but there was still something special. The cast was solid, the writing was consistent, the music was good, and the setting was beautiful. There was also a nice balance between adult and teen storylines with neither really taking precedent over the other.

But maybe most important to the show’s success was the fact that it moved quickly. There were fights every time we turned around. There were black-tie parties in every episode. There psychos and drugs and pregnancies and sex and romance and business problems and just anything and everything else that could possibly be put in this show.

So instead of keeping up that pace, Josh Schwartz made a conscientious, and smart, decision to slow things down. The second season he claimed would be more like My So Called O.C. where we would see these characters broken down a little bit better and explore what makes them tick. It sounded like a good idea in theory. But it was executed poorly.

Apparently, to Josh and friends, slowing the story down meant throwing in love triangles and forcing them on us while making us feel like they were slowly being built and that the relationships were real. No one really bought it.

The first episode was built around the idea that the summer had screwed up our friends from Newport. Seth and Ryan had taken off while Summer and Marissa were left to mope. Even worse was Kirsten who couldn’t even talk to her husband all summer because of her broken heart. And even though “The Distance” was fairly underwhelming after months of waiting, looking at it now, it was a very strong outing from the show as they tied up the loose ends and moved on.

Then the show took a different direction and introduced Lindsay. Many people seem to dislike her, but I thought that originally she was something interesting. The entire story with Caleb and his affair was beautifully crafted and it culminated in one of the most powerful scenes in one of the best episodes of the series. Caleb’s “I made an error in judgment” line will probably infiltrate episodes for a while and with good reasoning.

Shannon Lucio also brought an interesting dynamic to the cast. I felt that she and Ben clicked immediately and had a natural chemistry. They worked together very well and they had enough differences to really work. The writers could have used her much more effectively if they had used her to push Ryan toward his academic dreams instead of dropping the entire storyline about his future.

What was even more disheartening was the way that they took all the excitement out of the relationship. The writers made it clear from the beginning that it was merely a placeholder for the inevitable Ryan and Marissa reunion and then subjected us to a hundred break-ups. It was brutal. And then, of course, worst of all, they turned Lindsay from sensible to whining and she suddenly became all about becoming Caleb’s daughter at the expense of the mother who raised her and the boyfriend who helped through such tough times. It was poor writing, poor storytelling, and a poor way to end what was a terrific story (c’mon, don’t say you didn’t get excited when Lindsay said, “Mom?” to Renee at the end of “The SnO.C.”).

Of course there’s the Rebecca storyline, the single most-hated storyline in the history of the show, even more-so than the Oliver one. It did end up leading to an interesting story with Kirsten’s drinking, but before that, it was the single worst story ever. That’s all I can say about that.

And what discussion of season two would be complete without talking about Alex, a character who, like Lindsay, had an interesting dynamic with the cast and was completely different from anyone we’d seen before. She challenged Seth to change and offered something different than any other character—she, like Ryan, had family problems and instead of a family like the Cohens taking her in, she had to do everything herself.

Along came the lesbian storyline, though and Alex’s character went to hell. Let’s not forget that Josh repeatedly said that it was not a ratings ploy despite the fact that it came during February sweeps and that FOX built up the anticlimactic kiss for a week. He said it was about real emotion. It wasn’t. It was extremely dull. There was really no catalyst for the relationship and no good reason for them to break-up other than to prove it was a placeholder. Sure, the fight between Alex and Ryan was fun, but overall, it was ridiculous.

Ah, fights, remember those? We saw them a lot in the first season. We saw them rarely in the second season. And I think that leads to the next point: character changes in the second season.

Ryan

This is a change I didn’t mind so much. Ryan’s always been a stand-up guy and to brand him as a bad seed is a pretty incorrect assumption. So after proving himself to the Newpsies, he was able to move on. And when he moved back to Newport, he had a new lease on life and so I don’t blame him for calming down, stopping with the fights, and attempting to forge a new relationship with Marissa. Of course, that proved to be incredibly boring so Ryan ended up back to his usual self in the latter half of the season and not coincidentally, the episode quality improved.

Seth

Easily the most frustrating part of this season wasn’t the bad writing or the aimless direction of several stories, but rather the change of Seth’s character. Awkward moments, defensive quips, and an unmatched intelligence defined Seth’s character last season. Selfishness, obnoxious behavior, and a sudden loss of couth ruined Seth’s character this year. I’m not even going to get into the San Diego debacle but it was bad—really bad. Had they gone farther with the comic book club idea and less with the graphic novel story, things might have gone different. Adam Brody is a fantastic actor, but this season, his talents were not allowed to shine at all.

Sandy

Sandy was always the secret pain in the ass that you hope that your parents will be. He borders on being cool and then can’t seem to get over that hump. The most important thing is that he’s real. He loves his family and he hates his society. The best thing about him was that he was understanding. Somehow, though, this year, the writers decided to blind him. They put him in a storyline that completely destroyed the most likeable facets of Sandy’s character and, in the process, almost destroyed his marriage. Just terrible. Luckily, in the last few episodes, they brought him back around and he did what was best for his family, just like he always did.

To be fair, the other characters didn’t change much. Summer’s role was drastically reduced and thus she didn’t have time to really show her range. Marissa remained an idiot, somehow finding herself in situations that only Kelly Taylor could imagine. Kirsten and Julie were very solid throughout. Caleb wavered during the Lindsay story but before he died, he was an ass again and that’s how I’ll always remember him.

And what discussion about where the show went wrong would be complete without mentioning the idiocy in getting rid of Jimmy Cooper? I understand that his character is expendable, but at the same time, he’s needed. Contradiction? Sure. His character may not always add to the story, but for a good balance in characters, he needs to be there. For someone who always cares about Marissa, who always cares about the Cohens, and who always does what’s right (even his legal troubles were founded on a good notion: do what you must to protect your family). As long as he stays around, I’ll be happy. So happy.

Well I’ve talked about what went wrong, but let’s look at some of the good of season two.

Top Five Episodes:

  1. The Chrismukkah That Almost Wasn’t
  2. The Rainy Day Women
  3. The Dearly Beloved
  4. The O.Sea
  5. The Return of the Nana

Four of those five were written by Josh Schwartz. I think that speaks very highly of him. Of course, that list is only my opinion and is subject to change before I’m done writing this review because it changes often.

Top Five Moments:

  1. Sandy tells Kirsten that Caleb is dead
  2. Marissa shoots Trey
  3. Caleb reveals that he made an error in judgment
  4. Summer kisses Seth in the rain
  5. Seth catches the glass egg

Top Five Quotes and Exchanges:

  1. “Your breath smells like Marissa!” – Summer to Seth
  2. Ryan: Uh, Seth it's just us.

Seth: Yeah, uh huh…write that down. I now call to order this year's first Harbor School Comic Book League meeting. Members include Seth Cohen, present. Ryan Atwood.

Ryan: Uh Seth, it's just—

Seth: Ryan Atwood?

Ryan: Present. Seth, it's just you and me, can we maybe do this at home?

Seth: Yeah, we could, but then wouldn't get our pictures in the yearbook.

Ryan: That might not be such a bad thing.

Seth: Yeah, maybe you couldn't undermine me in front of the league. What about that?

  1. Seth: Ryan, my girlfriend hooked up with a girl. There's only one thing to do in this situation.
    Zach: You're gonna hook up with a guy?
  2. The way things have been going, I bet that's Oliver.” – Seth to Ryan
  3. “Ryan, I caught it.” – Seth to Ryan

Time Marches On…

So regardless of when season three premieres, there’s a lot for us fans to think about. I’m not really good with predictions, though there are some things I’d like to see so let me share them with you.

- A family trip. I know, that sounds dorky, but c’mon, Seth, Ryan, Sandy, and Kirsten making a trip together has tons of comedic potential.

- On that note, we need these guys to have more fun. I love the drama and everything but would it kill them to have some fun? One of my favorite moments of the year, though not top five obviously, is when they played hockey in the mall.

- Allow Zach to grow. Zach’s character is the only one of the recurring characters that stuck around for the entire season and with that, I’d like to see him become a little more vital to the story. He doesn’t need to be a third wheel to Seth and Summer. I read someone say that show fans are a walking contradiction because we complain about not having enough characters and then when a new one comes on, we say they should leave. But that’s because the characters are so poorly designed. They come on with thin personalities and simply stir up trouble between the main couples. They don’t have any emotion or depth and we know those types will leave. Keep some around and expand the cast. I promise that the show will benefit.

- How about some tension between Ryan and Seth or Summer and Marissa? We’ve seen the couples fight but rarely the friends. I’m not talking about Seth pouting about Ryan leaving, I’m talking about something that really digs deep.

Josh claims that he’s found where he wants the show to go and that they’re gearing up for a great year next year to coincide with the gang’s senior year. I know I’m looking forward to that and I just hope he can maintain some momentum while he attempts to deal with how to handle the college issue that will come up in season four (assuming the show gets a fourth season, something that seems likely).

Your Thoughts…

Last week, I asked for people to write in with their thoughts on this season and where the show might go next season and I got that plus thoughts about the show in general. If I don’t get to everyone who wrote in, I’m sorry, but I do appreciate you writing. This review is on its eleventh page in Word right now so I’m trying to wrap it up quickly so you guys can about your lives. Here are some highlights from the e-mails I received:

Anne says: “So, the season is almost over and although I thought last season was the greatest ever, this season started slow but picked up nicely. I don't like the change in Ryan. He is not "bad boy" enough anymore but I am hoping and praying that Josh listens to some of the fans and gets back some of the spunk from last year for next season. I enjoy this show so much and want it to go on and on. I know that sounds dumb but it just strikes me as something that should be around for a long time. Other shows are not half as good and seem to be on season after season.”

I’ll paraphrase AJ’s thoughts: He (I hope it’s a he—if not, I’m really sorry) liked Alex and hated the way she was written off without any real closure. He felt that Lindsay was too complicated and, along with Rebecca, contributed to the biggest problems with the show. AJ liked Trey as well and didn’t anything too bad to say about Zach. He’s looking for a quick resolution to the Theresa story next year along with Anna to return. He also hopes that Sandy gets a little more to do.

Manit writes: “This season was definately lower in comparison to the first season because the show was so new and genuine the first time that it was hard to make this season better…I know that senior year is going to be interesting and how the end up will be certainly be exciting.”

Hantang was a little less supportive of the show than most:

“What I liked about season 2: My memory is a little blurry......

What I hated: In no particular order; D.J, Zach, Alex, Lindsay, Caleb acting like an ass to Ryan, Lindsay being a whiny bitch about Caleb being her dad and Ryan and Caleb needing to get along, Marissa acting whiny and being angry, half baked Lesbian storyline, Seth and Summer not being able to stay together, Seth's ability to draw a graphic novel in 3 days, Sandy and Kirsten convinently taking turns being unfaithful to one another, overkill of meta comments, George Lucas cameo. That's everything just off the top of my head.....

What will happen in season 3: I don't think it's gonna get better. More recycled storylines and wasted opportunities. I'm not getting my hopes up like last time.

Lessons learned: It's better for a tv show to gradually find an audience and become a success. I truly believe that The OC got too much, too early and got spoiled. I'm afraid that this is gonna happen to Desperate Housewives too.”

Joe says: “personally i've enjoyed this season, more than the last one, the only problem with it, is the way the show has introduced new characters only to kill them dead by not developing their storylines well enough. Like Lindsay, she was a great new love interest for Ryan, a complete opposite to Marissa, something that he needed after the year of trauma with Coop. Also Ben and Shannen had a lot of on screen chemistry which boosted his performance. But she drowned in the storyline with Caleb, rather than going anywhere they just did the same storyline for several episodes straight and then didnt really deal with the issue, thus she was written out. Alex was also another important character, although the marissa storyline was awful and did seem just like a way to boost the ratings. Olivia Wilde was very good, and felt sometimes like a vital member of the cast. Her closing episode was very good, and although her chemistry (as a couple) with Mischa Barton was somewhat lacking, the chemistry with Adam Brody was electrifying. While DJ was pointless, Zach wasnt, and again like you've said before, he didnt really create any obstacle in the main relationship of the show. if they are going to they are on/they are off with Summer and Seth, (which we all know from previous teen drama they will do) wasnt Zach that vital moment to introduce that. The Adults have been good this season, Although Jimmy's final episode was awful, kirsten and Sandy have been given a lot to do, with Carter and Rebecca and both of those have been intimate and understandable, developed character changes. I'm going to miss Caleb too, but then this will perhaps give Julie something more next season, and the O.C. likes full circles, so a wedding to a funeral in a year is pretty circular.”

Michelle writes:

Likes:
Caleb and Julie - All of it - their marriage their problems, their
love, their affairs. I love it more now knowing that Caleb knew what
Julie was doing all along and still loved her. ESPECIALLY the Porn
movie - just a humorous and yet tragic storyline. Definitely two of
my fav characters

The kids with different boyfriend/girlfriends. (see dislikes because
I didn't really care for any of the characters) It is nice to see them
hang out as friends when that happened - I like the sexual tension
that builds when they are not together. Especially Seth and Summer.
That episode where he was drawing her was hot!

Trey - his character brought drama - seriously drama. I liked him at
first and you feel sorry for him and you want him to become good but
you know that he is a badboy. Then the rape scene WOW. What an
asshole! I hate him but he brought a lot of action to the show.

The acting - Especially the women on this show. Kelly Rowan was such
a great actress this season. Just awesome! So was Melinda Clark -
and while I am not a huge Mischa fan it seems that she is a better
actress when the scene is hard. For example, the scene when Jimmy
left had me sobbing, the scene where Her and Alex broke up was great,
and the rape scene were so well acted! Rachel also improved this year
a lot.

I'm in a minority here again but I like the comic book theme. I think
that it connected the threesome well and it was nice to see Seth
involved with something other than Summer. They did take it a little
far and made it a bit ridiculous but nonetheless I enjoyed it.

Its hard for me to say that I liked this but- Caleb's death. I am
STILL pining over it almost a week later and I keep reminding myself
its just a TV show. Although I am upset about it ~ it is so
intriguing. I feel so sorry for Kirsten for the way they ended
things. Hopefully he listened to Julie and wrote her a letter that
she will find later. I feel so sorry for Julie for deciding not to
kill him and then trying to save his life. (I also think that he knew
what was going on - he acted so well in that scene from the look on
his face I think that he knew what Julie was planning on doing and
that she changed her mind.) I feel so bad for Sandy who just became
friends with him and he must be hurting in his own right but is going
to be the strong one because Kirsten will just be a mess. Just a great
storyline. I hate to see Alan Dale go - he is a sexy older guy and he
was so good as Caleb - but still it makes for good tv.

I like that they are seemingly going to end the season with Seth and
Summer together. I know they went back and forth all year in an
interesting but sometimes annoying way but I am happy that they are
ending the year with wrapping up at least one story line. (I take this
back if they break up in the finale and you can push in down to the
dislikes)

Dislikes:

Every new character with the exception of Zach. Now Zach is a little
dull and he could use a makeover but hes charming and lovable and gets
along with everyone - He will make a nice addition if they would give
him a good storyline that doesn't involve seth and Summer. I am just
tired of them shipping characters off. DJ was such a bad character Im
not even going there; Lindsay was just ANNOYING. Her storyline with
Caleb was ok (because I love Cal) but she had to go and good riddance
- I think I am one of few people who despised Alex. I couldn't stand
her. She was ok with Seth and I stress ok cause she made him nutty.
But the whole lesbian story line was just bad. I didn't think she and
Marissa had chemistry for one second. NOT ONE SECOND. I just didn't
buy it. And she annoyed me with her rebellious attitude and how she
tried to be such a hard-ass. AND I didn't think she was a good
actress. Yes she was very beautiful but Has ta La Vista. I was so
happy when that story ended.

The exit of Jimmy and Hailey - Now there were two good interesting
characters! Why would they take them off this show? It reminds me of
them getting rid of Anna and Luke. (which still ticks me off) I
understand if its the actors choice ok but I don't know the truth so I
can only assume they all were written off. I am anxious to see them
in the finale and I hope Jimmy comes back next season to reunite his
family. That would be a good story especially if Hailey comes back
too!!!

Wow I have more dislikes than likes - The entire Rebbecca storyline -
so dumb. yes it ties everything together for Kirsten's drinking
problems and their marriage problems but oh my god I hated that woman.
Not to mention boring!

The constant whine of Marissa about her mom - When I thought I
couldn't take it for five more seconds - she stopped. Maybe the
rumors are true and that Josh listens to the viewers - but
nonetheless a large part of this season was full of Marissa the
crybaby. Her character is so much better now that she SHUT UP.

Kirsten and Carter - again necessary to advance the major story but
seriously, they couldn't have gotten TWO hotel rooms? They HAD to
share? I understand nothing happened anyway - but again just an
obnoxious story - (But Kelly Rowan could write a book with her eyes -
when she looked at Carter you KNEW what she was thinking! what an
actress)

Everything else in this season that was so bad and unimportant that I
forgot to mention it.

The beginning of the season was disappointing - of course had I not
watched the first half of the season which was BAD BAD BAD then I
wouldn't have been informed of the story lines -

But I must say that the second half of the season was ten times the
first. After Rainy Day Women there was only one or two disappointing
episodes. We'll see what happens going in to the finale. I will
definitely be sticking around for next year!!

Best scenes of the year:
Marissa and DJ looking like deer in headlights - LITERALLY
Kirsten and Julie drinking Cal's scotch and smoking cigars while dishing dirt
Everyone learning the truth at Chrismukkah
Seth brought home by cops
Summer saving Chrismukkah
Seth and Ryan sitting in the living room in the "gimme sex"
The Seth/Summer infamous Spiderman kiss
Marissa sobbing begging her dad not to leave - then taking bagels to the Cohens
Marissa claiming that she misses Ryan "everyday" (just like he said in
the Escape to her)
Julie watching her own porn movie and then telling Alex she is this
months Lawn boy
Sanding singing to Kirsten
Ryan and Marissa replaying last years pilot in a dinner with a french fry
Alex and Marissa breaking up
Seth drawing Summer
Seth catching the egg
"Kirsten and Carter sittin in a tree"
Trey and Marissa Almost Rape scene
Kirsten's love for Sandy and her accident
Teressa convincing Ryan that its Marissa he should trust
Ryan and Marissa dancing outside of the prom
Seth FINALLY telling Summer he loves her before he and Zach fight
Seth declaring his love in front of the whole school - AGAIN
"Seth Cohen's a tool"
Kirsten and Caleb fighting about her drinking
Caleb's death in the pool and Julie screaming
Kirsten finds out without resolution

Worst scenes:
Anything with DJ
Seth and Summer Spiderman kiss ( just so cheesy but great)
Alex shoving Ryan
Seth and whip cream (didn't he learn from the hookers in Vegas?)
Ryan and Lindsay making out and hiding from Kirsten (so lame)
Lindsay getting drunk with Marissa
Alex and Marissa's DON"T MISS scene (unbelievable and LAME)
Anything with Alex's ex
Seth's MOSTER obsession with Summer having sex with Zach (pathetic)
Anything with Rebecca.”

And finally, another Michelle passes along the following paraphrased thoughts: She thought the Lindsay storyline sucked and it might have been interesting to keep her and Marissa under one roof. She didn’t care much for the Ryan and Lindsay pairing. What she did enjoy was the intervention scene in the season finale. She believes that Caleb’s death was the most shocking event of the season but followed closely by the attempted rape and the final shot. She doesn’t really care much for Zach and doesn’t think he’s going anywhere but thinks Seth is on his way to Out of Character Land while Ryan is set to change the most. She hopes that Oliver will return soon and is shocked that Ryan’s not in a mental facility after all he’s been through. She also figures there’s a chance that while in rehab Kirsten will fall for someone new: someone who just happens to be Sandy’s illegitimate son, Trey’s drug dealer, and someone who’s blackmailing Hailey for her pornographic past.

You just never know.

Wrap up…

So that does it for me this season. I’ve really enjoyed writing and being read. It’s been good to hear from you all and to know that my opinion actually means something.

Where the show is headed I don’t know and even more unclear is where tvtome.com is headed. But as promised, I’m not going anywhere. theocweekly.blogspot.com is open now and I’ll begin posting reviews up there as well. I may get to move over to tv.com when that site opens but regardless, if there’s an audience, I’ll use that blog (what, you didn’t think I would pay for a website to host these did you?) as well.

If I didn’t get a chance to e-mail you back last week, I’m sorry. A lot was going on and my mailbox got cluttered.

Guys I hope you all enjoyed the episode, will make the move to tv.com so we can continue chatting on the boards, and will continue to read my reviews wherever they pop-up. Bookmark the blog and check in every now and then and any good shows news I can find will be posted up there. I have no inside connections but consider it just a newswire where everything comes through.

Thanks for reading.

-Drew

dukedevils9192@gmail.com

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Welcome to the Blog, Bitch!

Okay, so I don't know what's going to happen with TVTome.com or if I'll even be allowed to review when the switch to TV.com happens but for everyone who has been incredibly supportive, I'm posting reviews on here as well. This summer I'll also update with any news I get about the show. It won't be exclusive news and it probably won't always be up-to-date, but I think it'll be nice to have it in one place.

Enjoy.